• John (‘Jackie’) Howe’s Scrapbook

  • This document was ranked #107 in the Top 150 exhibition

  • Share this page on social media

  • Theme
    Top 150
  • Contributor

    State Library Qld
Page from John (‘Jackie’) Howe’s Scrapbook

Since the Leslie brothers led the pastoral advance into what became Queensland in 1840, wool has made important contributions to the Queensland economy. Through both their necessity and militancy, shearers rose to the fore of bush workers in the late 19th century, and Queensland produced the most famous exponent of the shearing boards in the form of John (‘Jackie’) Howe. The son of a circus acrobat, Howe was born at Killarney, near Warwick in 1861, and rose to fame in 1892 when he set a world record by shearing 237 sheep by machine in a single day at Barcaldine Downs. A week later he followed that feat by shearing 321 weaners in one day with blades at Alice Downs. Howe kept clippings of his shearing career in this scrapbook, which extends beyond his retirement from the boards in 1900. He later became a publican and as President of the Blackall Workers’ Political Organisation played a major role in the election of T.J. Ryan to parliament in 1909. His health broken through years of hard work, Howe died at Blackall in 1920.


Discover more